Google and Facebook are *advertising* businesses.

Apple is not *as* bad because they have a different business model: planned-obsolescence.

@wolftune still... very little to admire about any of them.

@lightweight @wolftune Ads are annoying, but is advertising inherently bad?

TV, radio and magazines have always been supported by advertisement, I don't see why the web shouldn't, especially when nobody can figure out an alternative economic model that would work for most websites.

@codewiz @lightweight

> alternative economic model that would work for most websites

I'm working on one @snowdrift
well, I dunno about "most websites" but maybe.

Anyway, there's a zero-sum competition here for attention. Ads drive attention and take attention. If my competitors pay for ads that show up at the top of a search, I have to pay more to get there and compete to get people to MY website. Ads *cost* websites as much or more than they *fund* them!

@wolftune @lightweight @snowdrift Well, but it's not the same websites though: toyota.com buys ads and pays them with revenue from car sales, while, say, lwn.net and phoronix.com use the ads income to finance daily Linux news.

Both these sites also ask users to subscribe (which I do), but won't you agree that they might have to scale down their operations if they were forced to survive solely on subscription revenue?

@codewiz @lightweight @snowdrift

In a world without all the harms advertising supports, all the people who struggle to keep LWN going could be better off and not need as much direct income.

If Apple/Microsoft/Google ads disappeared, it would be easier to get GNU messages to people's attention. If LWN had 100× audience size, they could have at least 5× subscribers.

Snowdrift.coop and crowdmatching aims to increase the portion of readers who donate too.

I'm not pushing unilateral disarmament

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@wolftune @lightweight @snowdrift Would you be more favorable to advertisement if we were to outlaw the most negative forms of it ?

For instance, many countries restrict advertisement of addictive substances and gambling. The US, UK and other common law countries prohibited provably false advertisement... but deceptive and psychologically manipulative advertisement is still fine.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_ad

@codewiz @lightweight @snowdrift

I support reasonable regulations on ads. And yes, blocking the advertising of some of the worst things is good. But it's sorta like my quip elsewhere in this thread about social-investing.

Yes, we should ban marketing of prescription medication directly to consumers. But that's just a start.

I do find far more sympathy with arguments that maybe bans and regulations won't work or will have unintended consequences. I don't sympathize as much with "ads are fine"

@wolftune @lightweight @snowdrift
Yesterday at the combini I saw "protein pasta", which is nothing but regular pasta because wheat contains protein.

Intentionally taking advantage of consumers' naivety is morally equivalent to false advertisement, but it can't be punished as easily 😞

@codewiz No. Any paid advertising contaminates all marketing. Imagine a world where you knew every exposure to a brand was earned, not bought, from those providing the exposure. The business of learning information would suddenly be a lot more simple, as bribery-motivated endorsements wouldn't be the norm. @wolftune @lightweight

@codewiz I don't think regulation is the way to go, even - I think it's more important we stop facilitating advertising with various grants and government purchasing of it. I'm concerned banning negative advertising, beyond provably false advertising, could be a political or social tool; imagine fb going "ads about other social media make us look bad, so should be banned." our governments aren't always bright, they might do it. @wolftune @lightweight

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